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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Drama Dudes

A couple of weeks ago I posted some videos of Leo's acting debut. (Be sure to check it out again because I added some background info!) We were all raving over Leo's performance, and encouraging him to leave school and become a child actor. But then we figured maybe he should do at least one more play first, and have more than one line so, you know, he can build up his portfolio.

So inspired by his big brother's accomplishment, Gus too took to the stage in a compelling performance as a shepherd in The Christmas Nativity at his preschool Here, I will post the show in its entirety. Be sure to watch for Gus's cute group line! Oh, and please disregard the cell phone that rings constantly. (Seriously???) Below the video of the play, please also enjoy two songs that Gus' adorable "Young 5's" class performed that day.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Dinosaurs Before Dark

Leo caught the acting bug and participated in his first play/musical! He was not one, not two but THREE different characters! (Okay, most of the younger kids were three parts.) Leo was a tree, a baby dinosaur and an Iguanodon. He had one line (see below). 

The play was through Off Broadway Children's Theatre. But the great thing is, the director came to his school for practices. So two days a week for three months he stayed at school an EXTRA HOUR! It was a win win and obviously, all that hard work paid off. Such a cute show, based on the first Magic Tree House book (one of Leo's favorite series).  He is already signed up for the spring semester play--The Jungle Book! 

Saying his line!! He got a laugh! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back in the Saddle

When I posted this blog about Gus learning to ride his bike back in March, I thought that was it. I thought that was the bike riding blog. He learned. He rode. He was a bike rider. I even confidently said "once you learn, you never forget."

But apparently you can forget. Whether it was the long, hot summer or a bad fall down a hill, Gus DID NOT know how to ride his bike anymore. We tried a few times but were unsuccessful. And I'm not exactly up for bending over and holding on while he rides.

Luckily, Frank is. He took him up to the Sweet Apple Elementary parking lot and practiced for a long time two weeks ago. And he got it. Then Frank came home and took off Gus' beloved Balance Buddy and he rode in the cul de sac.

Last weekend we tackled the Greenway (side note: Frank and I always accidentally call it "The Greenbelt" from our Austin days).

He's still a little shaky on down hills but this time I really really think he will never forget! (As long as we keep rolling through the winter!)

Oh, and as I went to post this blog, I saw a draft of a blog that I never posted from October. So, this will be a little dated but bear with me:

Gus had planned to be Luke Skywalker for Halloween. Then one day he mentioned something about a pirate zombie and I stupidly said, "That would be a good Halloween costume." And Gus surprised me by responding with, "What? No! I already have a Halloween costume! And it costed a lot of dollars. Someone would have to be an idiot to buy another costume."

Hmmm...sounds a lot like his dad!

Okay, back to Gus riding his bike :)

He looks like a ten year old riding a toddler bike in this pic!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

And Smitty Makes Five!

We did it! We got ourselves a dog. We have all had dog fever for awhile now and have been perusing the internets for just the right rescue dog. We'd find one, email about him/her, and often the response would be, "Rex is great but..." isn't good with kids, has a major squirrel thing or is missing one leg. 

We weren't ready for a project. 

Then we saw "Peanut." 

How could we resist? I went to the shelter where he was bunking and he was as sweet as the description said. I called Frank who said, "We don't have a lot of time to search for a dog. If he seems good, just get him." 

The shelter peeps had said that they would keep him there a couple of days to get neutered and microchipped. However, they were backed up with neuterings so they said, "You'll have to take him today." 

I was mildly panicked, but only because I was thinking, "I better get some dog food." 

Ha, dog food. Like that's all I would need! 

I had NO IDEA how huge a responsibility it is to get a dog. Besides the training and extra time it takes to take care of one, here is a list of all the things you "need." 

  • Food
  • Treats 
  • Different types of treats
  • Bowl for food, bowl for water 
  • Bones
  • Raw hide
  • Leash
  • Different type of leash 
  • Collar
  • Different type of collar
  • Tag 
  • Another tag for the second collar 
  • Poop bags 
  • Poop bag holder 
  • Crate 
  • Bed for the crate (that he doesn't even sleep on) 
  • Three bone toys 
  • Two "kongs" in which to put peanut butter 
  • A deer antler that the pet store guy swears he will like but he doesn't 
  • Balls--tennis, pretend tennis, squishy, rough, soccer, bouncy 
  • Squeaky toys 
  • A bone that looks like a log 
  • A gate for the stairs (borrowed from neighbor) 
  • A genie (from the makers of Diaper Genie) to dispose of poop bags 
  • A tie-out cord 
  • A ball that holds treats that he doesn't care for 
  • "Pet Corrector" spray 
  • "Bitter Apple" spray 
  • Little Green Machine steam vacuum to clean up poop and pee accidents 
  • Special spray so dog won't smell where he had said poop and pee accidents 
  • A trainer 
  • An invisible fence 
  • Dog boarding services 
  • A vet 

$3,000 later...

We are all set! 

While he has been cute and sweet from the get-go, it wasn't an instant love connection. In fact, I even made some efforts to "re-home" him. See, I wasn't particularly fond of having poop and pee in my house (and having to take up all of my rugs!). I also wasn't in favor of taking a dog out on a leash to go potty--I'm not exaggerating--21 times per day! I think most of my re-homing efforts took place on the sixth day, when Gus let the dog out and Smitty got a hold of one of the full poop bags with his mouth, flung it from side to side causing poop to fly all over our front porch. I may have sent a text to Frank saying something like, "I am done. Done. Done. Done. I can't live like this!" There were so many tears that first week. 

But then... 

He must have heard me making plans to find him another home and realized, "Hey, I've got a pretty good thing going with these fools" cause he stopped pooping and peeing in the house. 

So instead of re-homing him, we will be his "fur-ever home." 

Here are some pics of our first two+ weeks with Smitty. (Oh, and we got his name from another rescue dog that we had inquired about. He had only been Peanut at the shelter for a week so we figured it was okay to change it.) 

Our first meeting at the shelter! 

First night at home

Learning to love his crate 

His coat all shiny after his first bath (well first with us) 

Hanging out on the mat where I like to stand to make meals 

Getting a rare gentle pat from Gus 

His favorite place to hang out--the first step! 

Another favorite spot

Learning new tricks! 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Gus' First Day of the "Young Fives"

We knew we wanted to red shirt Gus. But what to do with him while we wait around for Kindergarten? I thought about forgetting preschool and just doing a year of finger painting at home. But then I remembered I'm not crafty and I don't even like doing his "popcorn" words with him.

"It's A!! The word is A! Not P! P is not a word! Well, I guess it is but it wouldn't be a popcorn word! Sit in timeout until you figure out that it's A!"

Luckily, there were enough kids in this same situation so his preschool offered a "Young 5's" class. There are nine kids and one teacher! I'm so happy about this situation for Gus--small class, half day. It's a good way to spend this gap year.

He was excited that he knew almost all the kids in his class from last year!

Some pics are from "Meet the Teacher" day and some are from the First Day...just in case you thought I have my kid do wardrobe changes throughout the day.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Leo says the Darnedest Things: First Week of School Edition

Leo started second grade!

Being in second grade means you get to sit more towards the middle of the bus, rather than up front. You get to sit in the "spinny" chairs at the library. Also at the library, you can check out TWO books at a time. You get to try out for the school play, which Leo is going to do. You get to be in the school play, cause everybody gets a part. And if you're Leo, you get to buy lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY.

That's because I HATE making lunches. I actually don't hate making lunches for Gus because he likes normal lunch stuff--PB&J, salty snack, etc. Leo does not like sandwiches or salty snacks so I was always stretching to think of something not in the dessert family to put in his lunch. We compromised on a jelly sandwich. But after FIVE YEARS (preschool for three, Kinder and 1st) of making jelly sandwiches, I quit. I cannot make another jelly sandwich. It grosses me out. If it doesn't have peanut butter on it, it's just soft toast.

So that, plus the fact that I felt absolutely euphoric on the one or two days a week last year when I let Leo buy his lunch, led me to this decision: NO MORE PACKING LUNCHES!

Every day I read him the menu and he always says he likes it. On the second day they were having chicken enchiladas.

Me: Leo, they're having chicken enchiladas at school today. Do you like that?

Leo: Oh, yes!!

Me: Are you sure? Cause I know you like it when I make it but...

Leo: They basically make everything you make, only better.

So...not only do I cook like a school cafeteria but their cooking is superior?

I was insulted for about a second but then I remembered I didn't have to make a jelly sandwich, so I got over it.

I have a feeling it's going to be a great year for both of us!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Losing my Sole Mate

I don't keep things for very long. That's why I buy clothes from Target and Old Navy; they're practically disposable. But there are three things that I have owned for a significant amount of time:

1. Fraction Calculator--since 7th grade, so since 1989
2. Glasses--same frames since 2001. I still like 'em. And they ain't broke.
3. Spin shoes--since 2004, the only spin shoes I have ever owned.

I am going to elaborate on the spin shoes so if you were hoping for more on my fraction calculator or glasses you're out of luck. You can just stop reading.

If you're still with me, let me tell you about these babies. I started spinning in 2004, right after completing my one and only marathon. Cause that's how I roll. I'm all, "I'm going to run. I'm going to run a 5K. A 10K. A half marathon. A marathon. Okay, I'm done!" And then I move on to the next thing. "I'm going to try spinning. I'm going to teach spinning. I'm going to teaching spinning for twelve years. That's enough!" On to Tabata.

So when I started spinning in 2004 I immediately got the shoes. I had to look the part. The funny thing is I don't clip in when I ride outside. And the even funnier thing? I rarely ride outside.

But these spin shoes have been with me through TWELVE years of teaching spin classes...there were times when I taught four-five times a week, sometimes twice a day. And there was a good stretch between 2007-2012 when I taught consistently twice a week on Tues/Thursday. I taught right up until the end of both pregnancies. There were times I didn't teach--after having a baby, after moving and not getting connected with a gym right away. So based on all that, here is how many times I think I taught in those shoes. (Good thing I have my trusty fraction calculator to figure all of this out!)

750! I think I have taken and/or taught 750 spin classes in those shoes. That's 11,250 miles (assuming each spin class is about 15 miles)! Damn. Imagine if I did actually ride outside!

These spin shoes have been good to me. The only thing I have had to change on them is the shoe laces. I've lugged them around in my black Motorola Marathon 2004 backpack (hey, I may have quit running but I am proud that of that backpack!) for twelve years.

So that's why it was quite anti-climatic how my beloved spin shoes ultimately met their demise. I was subbing a lunch-time spin class (since I'm now focused on Tabata, I don't have a regular class of my own), and the worst thing happened--ONE person showed up. I would SO much rather NOBODY show up than one. But she did. And she was perfectly fine being the only one there so I had to be fine with it too. We got through it and she was a lovely person and we had a good ride. Afterwards, I unclipped, got off the bike and went over to get a wipe for my bike. As I walked on the gym floor I had this brief,  passing thought that the floor felt a little uneven. And then I took off my shoes, put them in my marathon backpack, put on my flip flops and left.

The next day I received an email from my manager, which went to a few of us spin instructors who had taught in the last couple of days. She said that the weirdest thing happened. They had found the sole of a spin shoe still clipped into the instructor's bike. They had to work really hard to pull it off; someone even broke a nail! She asked if any of us knew anything about this. I read it and almost wrote back, "No, that's weird!"

And then I remembered that weird feeling about the floor. I ran upstairs to my backpack and pulled out my spin shoes and GASPED when I saw this:

How did I not notice that the sole of my shoe didn't come off the bike?!! Anyway, I fessed up and had to say goodbye to my trusty spin shoes that have been with me through 750 classes, 11,250 miles, two pregnancies, six different gyms and four moves.

It had been so long since I had bought spin shoes; I didn't even know what the kids were wearing these days! So I went with these:

Because even though I'm not teaching a regular spin class right now, it's still my first love. Well, I guess my second after running. Which I do not love.  So I guess running is more like an ex-boyfriend whose backpack I still carry around.

Hopefully these bright white spin shoes will be with me another twelve years, which would make me 53!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Last Days Craze

Both boys had their last days of school this week. Gus finished up Pre-K. Turns out he liked Pre-K so much he is going to do it again next year. (But this time it will be Pre-K: "The Young Fives" edition.) And Leo finished first grade, which fortunately, he will not be doing again.  

Gus' last day:

Gus' class had a party and some SUPER CREATIVE, crafty mom thought of having the kids decorate foam visors with foam stickers--Thanks, Gus' mom, for the awesome summer head gear!

And then it was Leo's turn to pose--and this year he did a DIY sign: 

At the First Grade party:

With one of his teachers who was so sweet to always scratch Leo's back and arms every day. 

With his wonderful and patient teacher who should be nominated for sainthood. 

Gus stuck around after the party to have lunch with Leo and his wild friends (see sainthood comment above).

Leo and his ladies after school

First day of summer: swim practice, doctor's appointment, lunch with daddy and then...THIS!! I don't think they have napped at the same time since Gus was a newborn. I am hoping this is a regular thing for summer 2016! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gus' Preschool Blessing

It is a tradition at Gus' preschool for the pre-k classes to have a blessing ceremony where they sing a couple of little ditties. Be sure to keep your eyes on Gus (as if you would look anywhere else!) during the "if I were a fish in the sea" part. Lots of interesting wiggling! 

The first song was just his class and the second was his class and the other pre-k class. (More of them are going on to Kindergarten so that is why they might seem more advanced ;)

It was SO adorable as you can see, and I remember singing both of these songs when I was young and almost as cute as Gus! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gus' Green Thumb + See ya Later, Splint!

Gus was beaming after school about his bean plant. He was showing everyone and the teacher said, "Gus' plant is the best one! Look at the roots. All the kids wanted to look at his!" So I said, "Gus, you have a green thumb!" He said, "My thumb's not green!" He is excited to take care of it in this flower bed that grandmother planted. 

As for Leo, he has had a splint on his teeth (see top picture) for about six weeks. He fell off his bike at our neighborhood Easter egg hunt and his top two permanent teeth got a little wiggly. So he sported these braces-like things for awhile. He thought it was cool, like he was a teenager, he said.
But now he's back to being an eight year old boy. Oh, that's another thing: Leo turned eight since I last posted. I am such a blog slacker that I haven't posted about that or even taken our "What a difference..." picture! I promise to do that soon...before he has real braces.